Atwoli Backs Anti-Pornography Bill By Aden Duale

March 2, 2021

COTU Secretary general Francis Atwoli has thrown his weight behind proposals by Garissa Township MP Aden Duale seeking to tame pornography in Kenya.

The proposed law — to be cited as the Computer Misuse and Cybercrimes (Amendment) Act, 2020 — is set for publication and introduction in the National Assembly for consideration this week, the Star newspaper reports.

Duale wants stricter laws outlawing possession and publishing of pornographic content in any computer system or data storage device.

Additionally, Duale wants the government through the National Computer and Cybercrimes Coordination Committee to block access to porn websites by persons within Kenya.

“A person shall not knowingly download pornography, distribute, transmit, disseminate, circulate, deliver, exhibit, lend for gain, exchange, barter, sell or offer for sale, let on hire or offer to let on hire, offer in any way, or make available in any way from a telecommunications apparatus,” the Bill reads in part.

The Bill seeks to amend the Computer Misuse and Cybercrimes Act to introduce harsh penalties for any violations.

Should the Bill pass, persons found in possession of pornographic material in their phones or computer devices or publishes the same on the internet — social media platforms — will face a Sh20 million fine or 20 years in jail.

The proposed law defines pornography to include data — visual or audio — that depict persons engaged in sexually explicit conduct.

In a statement on Monday, Atwoli said the production and promotion of pornographic materials have an impact on the social well-being of the youth, workers, society at large and sexual health.

“This is an issue of public health concern and not freedom of speech and or access to information as provided in the Bill of Rights,” the trade unionist said.

“Censorship of pornography will go a long way in also promoting and ensuring workers demonstrate good ethical behaviour at their place of work,” he added.

Atwoli noted the pornography bill was of importance since workers’ safety is a major concern to Cotu and its tripartite partners: Federation of Kenya Employers and Ministry of Labour and Social Protection.

“Finally, and because we should, at all times, be concerned about the future generation, this censorship will go a long way in protecting our children who are currently being exposed to pornographic content whilst on the internet. Over and above this, the Bill will address the now common menace among our children that has been escalated by pedophiles,”

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